Sunday, May 31, 2015

Literacy – Spanning the US: Corpus Christi TX :: Santa Fe NM :: Oakland MI

Corpus Christi Literacy Council fights illiteracy
Corpus Christi Caller Times: 5.04.2015 by Mary V. Gleason

In Nueces County, about 17 percent of all adults do not read well enough to function in our society. The term for this is functional illiteracy. That figures to almost 60,000 people. San Patricio and Bee counties have even higher rates of illiteracy. What if all these people could become literate? Think of the added benefit to the workforce. More people working at higher level jobs would add so much to the economy. The number of medical problems caused by poor understanding of instructions would decline. In fact, low literacy is linked to poor health, poverty, and even incarceration. When inmates learn to read, they are far less likely to return to jail, and they are far more likely to find and keep a job.

Corpus Christi Public Libraries are a wonderful resource for emergent readers. For those who cannot read well enough to function in English, there is an agency to help them, the Corpus Christi Literacy Council. The council resulted from a city commission appointed in the 1980s, and is a private nonprofit organization housed in the McDonald Public library. Since its inception, almost 7,000 adults have improved their lives through the organization's services. Volunteers meet with individuals and small groups in classrooms provided by the library. Many adults in the program go on to higher education, better jobs, and more involvement in their community and in their children's education. When adults become literate, the whole family benefits. Children raised in a literate environment will get a better start in school. READ MORE !

Literacy Volunteers celebrates 30 years of changing people’s lives
Santa Fe New Mexican: 5.09.2015 by Anne Constable

Sister Sun, a tiny, 50-year-old Buddhist nun with a shaved head and dressed in a plain brown robe, has lived in the United States for 20 years, until recently at the Fa Yung Monastery in Vadito, N.M.

But she never learned to read, write or speak English fluently.

Since moving to Santa Fe, however, she is getting help from Literacy Volunteers, a 30-year-old organization based at Santa Fe Community College that provides free tutoring services to adults who want to improve their reading skills or learn English as a second language.

She is also getting assistance in becoming a U.S. citizen.

On Thursday, Sister Sun, who was born in Taiwan, was working with her tutor, Rick Land, a software developer, who coincidentally speaks Mandarin, at a table outside the organization’s SFCC office.  READ MORE !

Volunteers turn page on adult illiteracy
Oakland Literacy Council helps adults learn how to read
Click on Detroit: 5.14.2015 by Angela Reilly, Force 4 Good Producer

From reading a bus stop sign to the newspaper or even reading a good night story to your children, words are all around us. But imagine going through life, knowing the words on the pages mean nothing to you.

For Royal Oak resident, David Mullins, 64 years of his life were spent thinking just that.

"It is very difficult, very difficult, even catching a bus," said Mullins. "If you can't read where the bus is going, you may end up. God only knows where! I memorized my address, phone number and that stuff, but that's it.  I said if you want more your going to have to do it."
Mullins heard about the Oakland Literacy Council in 2012 and his life has forever been changed.

"There are pockets of anywhere between 13-15 percent illiterate within our county," said Oakland Literacy Services coordinator, Julie Hoensheid. "We service both basic students, which are native English speaking people, as well as foreign born- or E.S.L- English is a second language.

At the Oakland Literacy Council, adults wanting to learn how to read are paired with tutors.

"Every person who comes through here is just here because they want to be," said Hoensheid. "They are giving from their hearts, they are not getting paid, they are volunteers."

"Literacy has always been really important to me," said volunteer tutor, Gabrielle Erken, " So I said let me find a way to use my skills and I love working with adults.

"I was a custodian working for the school district, 34 years," said Mullins. "At my job that I did, I was scared to death all the time. I never knew what was going to happen if I got exposed, cause I hid it really well."  READ MORE !

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Literacy Spanning US : : Tuscon AZ | Moore Co NC | Baton Rouge LA

Adult Literacy Advocates
WBRZ: 4.20.2015

BATON ROUGE- The Adult Literacy Advocates of Greater Baton Rouge are fighting against illiteracy in Louisiana. Chris Martin and Gary Robertson stopped by 2une In this morning to tell us more about their Links for Literacy charity golf tournament coming up next week at Copper Mill Golf Club.

ALA is a Capital Area United Way Agency that provides education programs for adults in Baton Rouge. The group has been serving the community for over 40 years, offering services like one-on-one tutoring, small group instruction, and many more.

The Links for Literacy golf tournament will be held on Monday, May 4th at 11 a.m. It will start with registration and warm-ups, and the shotgun start will be at 12:30 p.m. Prizes will be given for longest drive, closest to the pin, low gross score, and low net score.  VIDEO !

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

30 Museums * Libraries Finalists for IMLS National Medals

2015 Brochure
Thirty Museums and Libraries Tapped as Finalists for National Medal
IMLS: 2.24.2015

The Institute of Museum and Library Services today announced 30 finalists for the National Medal for Museum and Library Service. The National Medal is the nation’s highest honor given to museums and libraries for service to the community. For 21 years, the award has celebrated institutions that demonstrate extraordinary and innovative approaches to public service to make a difference for individuals, families, and communities.

“The 2015 National Medal finalists have made real and lasting contributions to their local communities through programs that engage and inspire the public,” said Maura Marx, acting director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services. “These institutions serve as trusted providers of educational resources, skills development, and civic engagement. We salute these museums and libraries, which play a key role in shaping our future by providing boundless opportunities for lifelong learning.”

The 2015 finalists of the
National Medal for Museum and Library Service are:

• Brooklyn Public Library (Brooklyn, New York)
• Cecil County Public Library (Elkton, Maryland)
• Craig Public Library (Craig, Alaska)
• Embudo Valley Library and Community Center  (Dixon,  New Mexico)
• Illinois Fire Service Institute Library (Champaign, Illinois)
• Los Angeles Public Library (Los Angeles, California)
• Madison Public Library (Madison, Wisconsin)
• Mid-Columbia Libraries (Kennewick, Washington)
• Middle Country Public Library (Centereach, New York)
• Phoenix Public Library (Phoenix, Arizona)
• Terrebonne Parish Library System (Houma, Louisiana)
• The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture (New York, New York)
• The Westport Library (Westport, Connecticut)
• Tulsa City-County Library (Tulsa, Oklahoma)
• University of North Texas Libraries' Portal to Texas History (Denton, Texas)

• Amazement Square (Lynchburg, Virginia)
• Tuckerton Seaport & Baymen’s Museum (Tuckerton, New Jersey)
• Chabot Space & Science Center(Oakland, California)
• Children’s Museum of Brownsville (Brownsville, Texas)
• The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art (Amherst, Massachusetts)
• Louisiana Children’s Museum (New Orleans, Louisiana)
• Museum of Northern Arizona (Flagstaff, Arizona)
• Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science (Miami, Florida)
• Nantucket Historical Association (Nantucket, Massachusetts)
• New York Hall of Science (Queens, New York)
• Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania)
• The Tech Museum of Innovation (San Jose, California)
• The Strong (Rochester, New York)
• Gladys Porter Zoo (Brownsville, Texas)
• The Wild Center (Tupper Lake, New York)

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Literacy – Spanning the US: Lebanon TN : : Elmira NY : : Altus OK

“When we moved to America,” Bonnie recalled with a laugh, “we could not understand the people. Even asking to go to the restroom was difficult!”  READ MORE !

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

2015 Literacy Leadership Awards : : National Coalition for Literacy

2015 Literacy Leadership Awards
The National Coalition for Literacy
May 14, 2015
5:30 PM to 7:30 PM
Washington, DC

The National Coalition for Literacy (NCL) Literacy Leadership Awards Event recognizes individuals and/or organizations that have made extraordinary national contributions to improving adult literacy and English language learning in the United States. Past awardees have included corporations, foundations, members of Congress, and adult literacy professionals. Light h'ors douerves and drinks will be served.

This year, the NCL will recognize the following outstanding individuals and organizations:

Representative Phil Roe (TN). Dr. Phil Roe is the U.S. Representative for Tennessee's 1st congressional district, serving since 2009. He has been a strong advocate for strengthening adult education and is the founding member and Republican co-chair of the House Adult Literacy Caucus.

Mayor Michael Nutter. In 2011, Mayor Nutter stated tackling the city’s adult literacy problem would be a priority for his administration. He made a $1 million investment in city adult literacy programs and reinstituted the Philadelphia Mayor’s Commission on Literacy, and tasked it with creating an online referral system that will allow real-time matching of adult learners to classes, tutors, testing and instruction, and to supplement face-to-face learning with opportunities for online learning and practice. That system, called myPLACE™, has served over 5000 adult learners to date.

Kavitha Cardoza. Ms. Cardoza is a Special Correspondent for WAMU and reports on D.C. area news, with a special focus on children, education and poverty. She has won numerous awards for her work including the regional Edward R. Murrow Award for Hard News in 2012. In 2013 she wrote and produced a four-part NPR series that highlighted the current adult literacy crisis facing communities across the country. This series provided some of the most in-depth coverage of this issue in the national media in recent memory.

Mary Jane Schmitt and Adult Numeracy Network (ANN). In 1994 Mary Jane Schmitt co-founded the Adult Numeracy Network which has been the leading voice advocating and providing PD for improved adult numeracy instruction. She also founded and directed the Adult Numeracy Center at TERC—a constellation of projects contributing to innovative research and development in adult mathematics education. Ms. Schmidt passed away earlier this year, and a representative from ANN will accept the award on her behalf.

The NCL Literacy Leadership Awards are made possible through the generous support of the Dollar General Literacy Foundation.

About the National Coalition for Literacy
The National Coalition for Literacy (NCL) is a coalition of the leading national and regional organizations dedicated to advancing adult education, family literacy, and English language acquisition in the U.S. NCL helps advocates, policymakers, and others who care about adult literacy make a positive difference advocating for adult education and family literacy.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Literacy – Spanning the US: Prescott, AZ :: New Jersey :: Pittsfield MA

In addition to the United States, the adult learners came from places all over the globe such as Brazil, Bulgaria, Chile, China, El Salvador, Ghana, Korea, Indonesia, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Romania and many others.  READ MORE !

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Future of the Stacks : : John Palfrey |:| Library as Third Place

The Future of the Stacks
How closing libraries means losing more than just good memories
Medium: 5.05.2015 by John Palfrey

When asked what they like best about libraries, people often recall browsing in dimly lit stacks for a book. The browsing experience is one of the most magical childhood memories for many people. They have positive associations with the experience of tracking down a book by call number, wending their way through the aisles, and running their finger along the spines of books in musty library stacks.

The joy of unexpected discovery has enormous appeal to people of all ages and all walks of life. The library browsing experience is strongly associated with the concept of serendipity.

There is something powerful about the idea that patrons will find on the shelves books that they didn’t expect to find. To date, this experience has come about thanks to the physical proximity of other books to the book they are initially seeking. For some people, it is impossible to come out of the stacks without armfuls of books, even if they went into the stacks seeking just one. This serendipity has broader social implications too. New ideas and new connections between fields can be created as a result of these unexpected findings. This serendipity, this sense of discovery, relies on a long and complex chain of activities, many of them carried out by librarians.

There is reason to fear that this type of positive experience will be lost if library stacks, and the people who staff them, disappear. If libraries shed their physical collections and materials are rendered to patrons through electronic delivery only, the experience of serendipity could be lost forever. The same fear goes for the decline of the physical, printed newspaper.

When a reader searches only for a narrow topic and ends up with a single story, she may miss the surrounding stories that offer a broader snapshot of what’s happening in the world. (Even the prospect of moving previously inaccessible stacks can lead to public outcry, as occurred with the New York Public Library in 2012.)

If libraries were to disappear, cities and towns would lose essential “third places” that are open to the public. In a 2013 survey, 90 percent of Americans age sixteen and older said that the closing of their local public library would have a negative impact on their community. There are many sound reasons for this concern.

Outside of home and work, third places in many communities are shifting away from library spaces and toward commercial spaces, whether Starbucks in the physical world or Facebook in the virtual world.  READ MORE !

The Great
Good Place
The Library as Third Place
Library Journal: 2.17.2014 by Annoyed Librarian

Inspired by this article in the Chicago Tribune hailing libraries as “havens on earth,” I wanted to write about libraries as Third Places.

A Third Place is somewhere other than home or work, the first two places. From the Wikipedia article summing up Ray Oldenburg’s The Great Good Place, we find the following characteristic of third places:
Free or inexpensive
Food and drink, while not essential, are important
Highly accessible: proximate for many (walking distance)
Involve regulars – those who habitually congregate there
Welcoming and comfortable
Both new friends and old should be found there

Depending on the community, lots of public libraries could count as third places, especially those with cafes and open spaces outside the normally quiet stacks areas. People generally don’t sit around the reference section merrily conversing, but there’s often space for that sort of thing.

This is even perhaps what a lot of public librarians want libraries to become, even if they don’t put it in those terms. It might make a lot more sense of some of the activities now happening in libraries if the official goal was to make the public library into a Third Place.  READ MORE [comments] !